Minamata (2020) Movie Script

I'll have the prints from
the Ali-Frazier fight by six.
Make it four. Everybody out.
Serial killers,
footloose, lies, Jesus.
That's what sells
magazines, Bob.
You should lose all those
corny war photos out there.
What have you got for mel don't
have time for a cocktail hour sip'n grin.
I want you to speak at the
opening of my exhibition.
I just want you to say
something about how great I was.
Wa... Was?
Yeah, how great I was, I mean...
How great I still am of course.
But, you know, way back
then when you could be great,
when the truth still
meant something.
So, yeah. You just
have to say that...
I'm the greatest photographer
that Life Magazine has ever have.
But you aren't.
You're the single most impossible
photographer the Life has ever had.
Well, fuck it! Just
say it that then.
I can't Gene. I told
you when you called.
I'm out of town that week,
I got a board meeting.
Look, Bob, I'm done.
I'm tired, my body
is older than I am.
I am always in goddamn pain.
I can't trust my
fucking dick anymore.
Constantly a foul mood.
Even the fucking drugs bore
me, my kids won't speak to me.
You know, I could go head first
into a fucking shrimp
cocktail at any given moment.
And I'm broke.
I'm sorry, Gene.
I wasn't looking for your
sympathy, I was just stating the facts.
By the way, if anyone should
be asking for sympathy, Bob...
It should be you.
Look at this drake
you're turning out.
No laddering.
You got all the way up in
your high horse, just like that.
We practically give this
magazine away to our readers.
We cover all the major
issues that touch their lives,
issues from all over the
country, all around the world.
We do it every week.
On top of that, we fight television
sets for the same eyeballs
you took for granted
would always be there.
It gets worse all the time.
What we do, what I do every day
is find a way to pay for
all of this and keep it going.
What we put on the cover, what
we put in the middle of those stories
that's what does that!
Wow! Well...
Your horse is obviously
much higher than mine.
Consider this as an
overdue "thank you".
A royalty cheque you found
on an old pair of corduroys.
Cash it at the branch
on 17th and 6th.
Keep it off the books that way.
You know that you're only sitting
behind that desk because of dogs like me.
Good luck, Gene.
Don't waste what
time you got left.
You're a dick, Bob.
Date is Sunday,
February 28th, 1971.
Well, it's me, I've done it.
I'm done with retrospecting.
And now I don't have
to do any more things.
I sold all of my
stuff, you know,
my equipment what have you.
And I'm gonna make sure that
you guys get the money for that...
I know, I hate to
sound modern but...
I think it's time for me to...
I'm coming !
Mr. Smith... Now
is not the time.
Hi, I'm Aileen, and this is
our photographer, Geichi.
Thanks. Thank you.
Why is this man
giving me cookies?
Fujifilm, we are here
for the advertisement.
Oh! That, yeah, right, Christ!
Well, look, I'm gonna
have to level with you.
I have consumed quite
a whole lot of alcohol...
What did he say?
Geichi says you're his
favorite photographer
and the reason
he's got into the field.
Oh, that's very nice.
That's very nice.
And what about you? Have
you never heard of me?
Not before this morning, no.
So you're not a fan?
It's too early to say.
What do you want me to do?
They want you to
say that Fuji color film
is more vibrant than any
other color film on the markets.
It's the only color
film you trust.
Turn that shit off,
turn everything off.
Do they really
want me to say that?
Yes, it was part of the deal.
Oh fuck!
You know, I've never
shot in color, ever.
Not once, never, ever.
And anyone who knows
my work will know that.
So that's a very big problem.
I'm sorry but it's
in the contract.
Did I sign the contract?
Will Naughton is playing
at Francesco's tonight.
Join me.
Let's get on with
the puppet show.
So, are you going to give
me a photography lesson?
Oh listen, I would, but I damn
near sold all of my equipment.
I need to send money to my
kids, rents, way overdue and...
My bank account just
walked under the duck.
So... What duck?
Not a real duck, never mind.
Sometimes you
just get fed up with...
You know, sometimes...
I used to be more fun.
I used to be a lot more
fun, I swear to you.
I bet you were a fun
dad to have five kids.
No, no, I wasn't.
Not even close.
I was never there, I
was gone all the time.
Absent. No leagues...
No barbies, no easy bake ovens.
I missed it all.
I had a great time
with you tonight, Aileen.
I didn't just happen
to get this job with you.
There's a company in Japan.
That's been dumping their
toxic waste into the sea for years.
The Chisso Corporation.
People are getting sick and die.
The people need help.
There is a resistance
on the ground.
But we need global attention.
We need you
at the shareholder's
meeting next week.
Well, I'm afraid that Japan
has seen the last of me, kid.
That was 25 years ago.
If that's why you're here I'll
put you on the long list of people
that I've disappointed.
I'm terribly sorry, but
I've got a few things to do.
Defenestration and
whatnot, you know.
Sorry, I did that all
wrong and I've upset you.
It wasn't my intention..
No, no, it was a lovely night.
It was?
Here's some information.
Please have a look.
My number is on the envelope.
Take care, Aileen.
I love the suggestion for the center,
it looks really... It looks ideal to me.
The center is very strong. Yeah.
Robert, Good...
Robert, a huge crisis in Japan.
Mercury poisoning.
Here's your Pulitzer Prize.
Gene, what the hell,
People are dying, Robert.
Yeah, all day, every day.
It doesn't mean you
get to fuck up my layout.
Oh goddamnit! Am I
interrupting your little layout?
No, you guys just go on and make a
room for your fucking Oil of Olay ads
while innocent people
drop like flies, huh Bob?
You talking about Minamata?
Yeah! See,She
knows. She's smart.
Is there anybody else
here who's as smart as her?
A factory there has been contaminating
the bay of some fishing village.
At first they called it "the strange
disease", then "dancing cat fever."
And now it's simply called
the Minamata disease.
It's fucking monstrous.
I've been following it in
the Herald and the Times,
small stories, every
couple of months.
But no one has
really covered it.
I mean it's in the goddamn fish,
and that's all those
poor people have to eat.
The Times has a Tokyo desk.
And we have deadlines
literally in one hour.
So that sounds to
me, Bob, like a... yeah,
time is of the essence.
And you know that the cover up
is gonna be as much of
a story as the story itself.
I gotta go, come on.
You expect me to send you?
You'd be a real dumbass
not to. Gene, stop.
A moment, if you please.
This is the story, Bob.
You know this is the
story. I'm not sending you.
What?Why not?
Gene, I'm gonna throw you
out of the goddamn window.
I wish you would have done
that the last time I was here.
Gene, listen closely.
If I don't send you...
you can't fuck me on this, you
understand what I'm saying?
No. Call me at home.
Don't call me here.
And you can't
disappear on me again.
I would never
disappoint you, again.
Just try not to
disappoint yourself.
Gene, let's go.
I'm coming.
Take off your shoes.
Take off your shoes.
Excuse me. Thank you.
Listen! Children are
asleep. So, let's be quiet.
You must be quiet, the
children are sleeping.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
This is not much.
Thank you very much.
Please, have some food.
Thank you very much.
Honestly I don't really have so
much of an appetite right now.
But it's definitely coming
back, this food is...
I'd like, I'm interested...
What is... I'm interested in this.
Try this one.
Is it good?
It is good, isn't it?
Is it good?
It is good. It is good.
It is good.
It is hard to talk
about those things.
It is not just about us.
It's not easy to speak
about certain things.
Akiko is our oldest.
They tried to tell us it was
cerebral palsy but we knew better.
She was very sick
and she remained sick.
And she will never get better.
We are a strong family.
She is our treasure.
I will translate you later.
Can you...
Can you please thank
them for their kindness?
Their generosity and
for their hospitality?
And if it's at all possible...
to photograph Akiko,
perhaps tomorrow.
We thank you for your
kindness. Not at all.
If you don't mind...
Can we take some
photos of Akiko tomorrow?
I will make your
beds. Thank you.
She will make our bed. Okay.
Please! There's nothing
much left but... Thank you.
Would you mind to ask if
he might have just a little...
You know... snoop. Yeah.
Excuse me! Excuse me!
He seems that he
cannot fall asleep.
Do you have anything to drink?
A drink, Just one minute.
Does he have something?
He loves whiskey
for sure. Probably.
Whisky. Whisky.
Good. Good.
Good night. Good night.
Many are tired of fighting,
or they don't want to bring
attention to themselves.
Then there's us, the
direct Negotiations Group.
We are not so
easy to keep quiet.
I can imagine.
Kiyoshi is one of the lead activist
for the direct Negotiations Group.
Yeah, I got a
light. I got a light.
His son was born
with the disease.
Kiyoshi also has it, but it's
yet to be officially recognized.
Thank you. Sure.
It's in my hands
and in my vision.
But it's my son, and those
like him, that keep me going.
Keep me fighting,
you know, Sure.
Does that ever affect
your ability to shoot?
I may waste a little
more film than I should.
But for some reason with
the camera I'm not so bad.
What is... What's
your endgame in this?
Chisso doesn't
believe us, patients.
They don't believe
we're suffering.
So we want to look the
President in the eyes.
We want him to see us and
then tell us that we don't suffer.
And what makes you think
he's gonna listen to you?
I don't know.
Maybe if we make
a noise loud enough.
They won't have a choice.
With you, we have
a better chance.
I hate that shit.
I used to fucking
hate gym class.
They used to make
us all sit down in a row.
Cross-legged, you know?
And I couldn't do it.
My legs just don't
work like that.
They don't work like that.
And the...
I know you don't understand
a word that I'm saying.
But that's not gonna
stop me from talking. So...
You might as
well just dig in, kid.
Do you like jazz?
Well, you better cause
jazz... jazz is what we have got.
It's just fucking jazz.
Improvisation, everything.
See this?
Anyone can do this,
anyone, takes nothing.
You point, focus, click.
And most importantly, fuck up.
Fuck up, because, that's
the only way to learn.
You take it,
kid, I'm sick of it.
I should have known
better... coming here.
So you go on, play the music.
I'm not really sure if I
can hear it anymore.
I don't believe you.
I mean, what kind of photographer
gives his camera away?
Passing the torch, Aileen,
is how one dies gracefully.
Somebody said that
once. You alright?
What? Yeah, Kiyoshi.
It's probably best you know
this now, I disappoint people.
And I disappoint people always.
Where are we?
Aileen found you two
a little home to stay in.
What? Really?
Yes. Me and her?
Wow! That was nice.
Come with me.
We also put together
a dark room for you.
I set it up just the way
you have back home.
Thank you.
Gene, good news, we're
moving up your piece.
I think we might have an issue
with more photographs than car ads
for the first time
for three years.
It turns out there's a UN
environmental conference
in Stockholm in a
month, very first of its kind.
We need to coordinate two.
Gee-wiz Bob!
I don't think I've heard you this excited
since they faked the moon landing.
Millie is shaking every
tree with an anti-nuke folks
and the WHO here and in Japan.
We have all the science
to highlight your images.
Is he saving his receipts,So,
how is it going out there?
It's fun, it's fun. I'm
having a great time.
I wish you were here
I'd let you buy me a drink.
There's no wiggle
room on this one, Gene.
If we don't have the
images by next week
we won't make it.
You know what? What?
Gene... I got a bad
connection, Bob.
I've got a bad
connection. Gene...
I think that I might have
had a little something, drink...
And I didn't even
know what I was doing.
I asked the people to give
whatever cameras and film they had.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Maybe you can join
me thanking the people.
Oh yeah. Thank you. Thanks.
Thank you.
Thank you.
That's my camera.
Is this yours, Yeah,
that's me, that's mine.
Great. Got it. Alright.
That's right.
How do we turn it to photos?
What? How is it
turning to photos?
Then you turn it like
this, then turn it like this.
Come here, you do
it. Give me your hands.
Take that, okay?
Put that hand there.
Okay, now, I got you.
Just turn it like that, alright?
Like that. Aren't you afraid of
touching me?
You are not afraid to touch me?
Why would I be?
Your hands shake because
you have Minamata disease too?
No, no, no.
I just drink a bunch.
What this kid's name?
It's getting late, maybe
he should be in bed, no?
Thanks kid.
He wants to learn how to make
the film tape into big pictures.
I'm not really here...
to give photography classes.
Especially kids.
OK. I'll teach
him. I'll teach you.
You take it.
Here, you got it?
And you go take some pictures.
And we'll develop them later.
Thank you.
Okay, pal.
Pretty good that kid.
You like that one,
huh, Can I have it?
No, you can't just have it, no.
Maybe I can help?
You know...
The Native Americans, they believed
that a photograph would take a piece
of the subject's soul.
But what gets left
out of the fine print is...
that it can also take a piece
of the photographer's soul.
You understand
what I'm sayingit...
It will break your heart.
So if you take it...
You take it seriously.
This way. Put your stuff here.
Put your stuff here.
I'm glad that worked.
May I? Yes.
OK, I'm gonna see if
I can find something
we can use at the
shareholders' meeting.
It's okay to take a picture.
Just don't show his face.
Alright, listen, people must see
what's going on behind the eyes
because that's
where the truth is.
It's in empathy.
The thing... I need faces.
We need empathy here.
Thank you sir.
Thank you very much.
OK, let's go find the nursery.
Let's... let's turn
around and go this way.
Just keep going.
Just keep going.
Just slip in here, quick, quick!
Gene, Aileen, I found the lab.
Dr. Yamashita has been
the chief doctor for Chisso
since the first
victim showed up.
They had to be running tests.
They must have found something.
Hey, I found something.
It says that the cat he
fed from Chisso pipe water
reacted just like
their patients.
Which is exactly what happens
when one is poisoned with mercury.
It literally destroys
brain tissue.
And for 15 years they knew.
They knew, Gene.
And they kept poisoning people.
Give me that.
You turn around, pick up your
camera, check your settings.
You cannot let your
emotions run the show
cause you will fucking lose, and
sometimes you might fucking die.
Focus on the photograph
you want to take.
Focus on what you want to say.
Do it now.
Remember how it affected
your emotions, right?
How did it make you feel?
Was it unpleasant? A menace?
There's an evil...
So, you are changing...
many things, yeah, okay?
Take it out.
Throw it in the liquid.
So, here's a little
secret of mine.
Use your hands a lot.
Caress the image.
Warm the print with your...
body, from your hands.
That's how you tell your story.
Here. It's for your hands.
Thank you.
What for?
Oh wait!
Don't move, don't
move, don't move.
Aren't you supposed
to ask permission first?
Permission is like
asking for a kiss.
No, it destroys the
moment, you just gotta take...
Like that?
Something like that, yes, yeah.
Try not to forget
about the fine print, kid.
It's okay.
I'll be back.
Mr. Smith, come in.
Thank you. Please sit.
Would you like
something to drink Water?
You know, I actually think I'd rather wait until
I get outside the building before I drop dead.
So... perhaps a
soda pop, you know...
With the top still
on it. In the bottle.
Thank you.
Mr. Smith, do you know
what "parts per million" means?
Without getting confused
by all the science,
it is a very, very small amount.
And small amounts are accepted.
Even in this bottle.
Unopened bottle of Cola.
There may be the tiniest
amount of some material
you might not
expect or appreciate.
it's microscopic,
barely even there.
May I show you something?
Look over there.
The cyclate.
We spent much money creating a
system that keeps the water safe.
I even drank from
it to prove its safety.
It's a great photograph,
it's really a nice photograph.
Thank you. You're welcome.
Let's take a walk.
Do you know what we make here?
Toxic chemicals.
Good chemicals.
Chemicals that
fertilize the land.
Help feed millions.
The chemicals needed
to make plastics.
Even medicines.
Also chemicals for
developing photographs.
And chemicals that
make 35mm film.
Like the kind you use
yourself, Mr. Smith.
We employ over 60
percent of the residents here.
If the protesters succeed and
they put Chisso out of business,
what happens then?
I mean how the
fuck would I know?
I know that you're
broke, Mr. Smith.
That you owe money.
And that you are on the
brink of getting evicted.
You are correct, sir.
You are very correct.
But I've still got my youth.
And my girly charm,
which I think will
get me through.
A father is supposed to
provide and protect his children.
Obviously you care
more about yourself
than your own flesh and blood.
Now you may choose to believe...
the small amount
of the local fishermen
who claim that they have
somehow been harmed
by our methods.
But I am sorry to say
they are the parts per million.
Relative to the greater
amount, the greater good.
You know, for a second
there I thought you and I
was gonna be good pals.
But I can see now
that I was sadly mistaken, because
you, sir are full of fucking shit.
Please follow me. Certainly.
Why not?
Spanky and Alpha-alpha
gonna shoot me in the back?
I am a business man.
I make deals.
Like we have
done with the locals
who have taken our
payments since the twenties.
It is even a line
item in our budget.
Fifty thousand American dollars.
Here's the chance
to amend your sins.
Provide for the people
that counted on you.
You've had quite
a career, Mr. Smith.
What else do you need to prove?
Oh, Goddamnit!
Can she see?
No. No.
Akiko can't see or talk.
She's congenital.
The fetus has
absorbed the mercury
sparing the mother.
Mr. Eugene, are you married?
He has two children.
Does he have photos of them?
She's asking if you have
any pictures of your children.
Of my children?
You know, uh, no.
I'm ashamed to say that I don't.
It's bad.
I need to help Mrs.
Matsumura at the market.
Can you watch her?
What? Akiko.
No, I can't do that.
You'll be fine, we'll
be back in one hour.
I am not the most responsible...
Stop it. No.
Let's go.
I'll go out for a while.
Don't get worried.
I'll give you a
bath soon, Akiko.
I'm not so good at these
kind of thing, you know.
Do you want to touch my beard?
There is not many
beards out here, right?
Fuzzy? Fuzzy woozy?
May God bless and keep you
always, let your wishes all come true
May you always do for others,
and that others do for you
May you build a
ladder to the stars
And climb on every round
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young
You're a good girl.
That way, we can't interfere.
You got company.
You are Yamazaki Mitsuo,
right? We will search the place.
Get the children inside.
Don't get in our way.
Go. Go.
Don't take photos!
Don't resist!
Don't resist!
You should be
ashamed of yourselves.
They're gone.
Everything is okay.
All I ask for are any negatives.
Any photos you've taken
while you've been here.
And that you go
home immediately.
And let what is happening here
play out here among Japanese
in Minamata.
In a community and
courts where it belongs.
And where you don't.
On a scale of one to ten,
fuck you!
Yeah. Are you gonna eat?
Read the sign, Aileen.
I am being nourished
by my own hunger.
And maybe just a
tiny amount of whisky.
And maybe just a tiny
amount of amphetamine.
That's our little secret.
Beyond the sea
Somewhere waiting for me
My love stands
on the golden sand
And watches the ships
No, Gene, no, no!
Gene! No! Gene!
No more of this! No! No!
That's it. No, I'm done. No.
Don't you dare follow me.
I will ruin your fucking life.
No more. I'm done.
Yes. You have a
collect call from Japan
by a Eugene Smith, will
you accept the charges?
Can you ask him to call
me back in a few hours?
He is quite insistent that...
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
I'll accept the charges.
Hello Bob, Bob
it's terrible here.
Uh, listen, no fucking chance.
Gene, talk to me.
Okay, I'm coming home.
Now we're not
gonna get the pictures.
I mean I can't do
this shit anymore...
By the way, it's been
made very clear to me now.
That I'm seriously
unwelcome here.
Bob Bob What's wrong?
I went to the goddamn nat for
you and you ask me what's wrong?
Well, I hear, I'm sorry.
I don't give a
fuck what you are.
Listen to me, I need the
pictures, Gene. I need this story.
And I need you
to get me this story
like nobody else
can. No, you don't.
Big people hurt little people.
Little people get hurt by big people.
Same thing here, same thing there.
This picture, that picture. They
all burnt up in the fucking fire.
Why does it matter?
And memory is the goddamn devil.
But the people over there, they matter,
right I know that because you told me.
No, do you know what matters?
Money, money for my kids.
Have you been drinking?
Of course not, Bob. I'm
a professional, Jesus!
Gene, hang up, go back to sleep.
In the morning it'll all seem different.
You listen to me, pal.
I was recently quite reluctantly
escorted by a couple of goons
to go and meet the top
fella at the Chisso joint.
What the fuck are
you talking about?
He offered me a
whole lot of money, Bob.
A whole lot of dough. And
I gotta say, I gotta say...
The dough was awful pretty.
And you told him how long
and hard to go, Yes, I did.
Yes, I did, like a dick.
And you know what,
I should've taken it.
But I'm a dick, I'm a dick, Bob.
Just like you're a dick.
And you know what
Here's what I'm gonna do.
I'll gonna go right back
there and I'm gonna grab it.
I'm taking it. Don't you dare!
Oh yeah, no listen...
I'll wire it to you, you take back
the six grand that I owe you,
and then you send
this to my kids, OK?
Not okay, Eugene,
not fucking okay!
You know how you always told
me how much your kids hated you?
You think a couple of grand
is gonna make a difference?
You really think your
kids are that naive?
Oh, fuck you! I don't
need to listen to that shit.
You call me a sellout,
here is the irony,
I did, I did sell out to the board, to the
boys with the abacus in the basement.
And now I'm gambling the reputation...
Bob, are you gonna give me a pep talk?
Because I actually
might need to vomit first.
67 percent ads and I'm losing.
Likely I won't even have my
integrity to fall back on in my old age.
But I will have yours!
Damn it, Gene!
I will have yours.
I'll tell you what,
if there's any left,
I will stuff it into a fucking
box and ship it to you.
I don't know how many more issues I'm
gonna be able to publish, but one of them
is going to have the most important
photographic essay of the last 30 years
or I will personally fly out there
and kick your pathetic whinging ass.
The kids in the office,
the special ones,
they don't look up
to me. Hey, Bob...
They look up to you.
Because you matter.
And in reference to
your last comment,
blah, blah, blah...
Just bring me the story, okay?
Bring the story home.
Still there, Bob?
What the fuck?
What's this? Shigeru.
You know there's a
zoom on that thing, right?
Do you have a gun or an aspirin?
Or any drugs, No?
You wanna take a
picture, Come here.
Excuse me.
Excuse me, I just want...
Would you...
Would you mind
translating this for me?
I'm really no good
at public speaking.
I'm not good at public speaking.
I suppose that I'm one of those "pictures
worth a thousand words" type of guy.
I believe that a picture is
worth a thousand words.
Anyway, that doesn't matter.
I'm here to help
if I can...
But I need you to help me.
I want to help you, but
I need your help too.
By allowing me...
to spend some precious
time with you and your family.
I want to spend some
precious time with your families.
So that I can help
to fight your fight.
If I did this,
I will be able to help you
to win your fight.
So... I mean... The
question is this...
Who is comfortable and willing
to share these...
these very precious
intimate moments
and to be photographed by me
with the utmost care and respect?
Does anyone agree
to be photographed?
Thank you.
Thank you. Arigato. Thank you.
Are you drunk?
What Is it good? Or is it not?
Are you drunk?
No one is ever drunk...
If they can lie down on
the floor without holding on.
We're gonna do this together.
You are murderers!
Get out of here.
I'm staying by you.
It's too dangerous, get out.
What. No.
What happened to you...
What you have gone through...
brings sorrow in our hearts.
Please forgive us.
She said you treat her with
much dignity and respect.
Thank you for that.
She said you made her laugh.
What the fuck is that?
Mr. Uyishi, can I have a moment?
Gene! Are you okay?
I'm OK. I'm OK. What's this?
Someone just brought
it. What the fuck is that?
What is that?
It came when you...
It's the negatives
from our dark room.
I don't get this.
Where did it come from?
Kyushi! Kyushi!
We are ready.
Can I move Akiko's legs?
Excuse me.
Can I move Akiko's left hand?
Akiko, I will move your hand
Very good.
I can't. Wait.
Fuck it!
Do me a favor, give
me the... my shutter.
Thank you.
Son of a bitch.
He got it.
He fucking got it.
We won!